In a move that is likely to shake up proceedings in the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a U.S. judge has approved an investment banker as the new declarant in the case.
Ripple, which operates the digital currency XRP, has been facing off against the SEC in a lawsuit which alleges that the company has failed to register its XRP tokens as securities and has sold them illegally. Last week, it filed a motion in court to appoint an independent investment banker to help provide insight into the value of XRP.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres approved the motion and selected Ankura Trust Company, LLC as the independent declarant. Ankura is a financial services firm which offers accounting and restructuring services, among other services, and is based in Delaware.
The ruling gives Ripple a much-needed boost in its ongoing battle with the SEC, as the declarant will assess the value of XRP and provide the court with evidence of it having “utility value.” Ripple has argued that XRP is a digital asset, with utility value, but the SEC has claimed that it is a security and thus subject to regulation.
Now that a declarant has been selected, it remains to be seen how the court will act upon the evidence. In the meantime, the judge has ordered both sides to exchange information required to evaluate the current state of XRP.
The case will continue to be closely watched by both investors and legal experts as it progresses. With the granting of an independent assessment, Ripple has another strategic advantage as the case continues.